Recipes behind such delights, like this blackberry pie made by Sarah RIngler, author of The Mixing Bowl, are perfect candidates for the new recipe book. —Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian file

A new cookbook that will highlight treasured recipes from around the Pajaro Valley, from the time-tested, old faithful delights to the experiments that, at first try, ended in a stovetop disaster.  

Drummed up by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, the first-ever such effort by the Chamber is designed to showcase the wealth of cooking styles, foods and customs that often sit quietly in people’s recipe boxes, scrapbooks, drawers or in memory.

“We’d love to have recipes, everything from your favorite marinade and casseroles to your favorite mixed drinks,” said Shaz Roth, CEO of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. “Brenda (Rackley) and I were talking one day about what can we do — what could go into a gift for the people here that the chamber could showcase the various cultures that make the Pajaro Valley what it is today.”

Roth said she hopes the recipe book will grasp the breadth of Pajaro Valley’s Italian, Japanese, Slavic, Hispanic, Filipino, Chinese kitchens adventures — and many more — to create a community gift. 

“We know some of these cultures continue to hand down their culture of cooking,” Roth said. “And this is what we are hoping to capture. From desserts, cakes, breads to barbecue favorites — you name it, they need to be shared.”

Roth added that the idea also stems from the wide variety of foods that neighbors have shared with her over the years, including Portuguese sweet breads and Filipino lumpia (egg rolls). 

“I’m looking around, even in my own neighborhood, for these kinds of recipes and ideas,” Roth said.

The end result will be a loose-leaf book. Roth said the chamber will welcome entries through the end of August. 

“The goal is to have the book ready and published in time for the holidays,” Roth said.

Send entries to the chamber’s email: [email protected], or mail them to: P.O. Box 1748, Watsonville, CA, 95077.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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